Automatic Transmission problems of the 2004 Toyota Sienna - part 1

38 problems related to automatic transmission have been reported for the 2004 Toyota Sienna. The most recently reported issues are listed below. Please also check out the statistics and reliability analysis of the 2004 Toyota Sienna based on all problems reported for the 2004 Sienna.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 1
Failure Date: 01/15/2011

The contact owns 2004 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, the vehicle would not accelerate further. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, where the technicians stated that the transmission fluid needed to be flushed and recalibrated. After the repairs, the failure continued. The vehicle was taken to the dealer a second time and the technicians stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 2
Failure Date: 07/15/2010

A 7-year old boy was climbing from the back seat to the drivers seat of a 2004 Toyota Sienna minivan. He was the only person in the van at the time, the van was not running, there were no keys in the ignition. . Yet somehow, the van's transmission was taken out of park and put into gear. As the parking brake was not set, the van rolled backwards down the driveway, through a fence and into a ravine with the child inside. The child also used the steering wheel during the event (which should not be possible). No one was hurt, but damage to the vehicle and the property is extensive. It is unclear as to why the transmission and steering column lock failed on this van or if this is an isolated defect. After the accident, the transmission lock appears to be working normally.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 3
Failure Date: 05/01/2010

While merging onto a hwy I was leaned forward looking through the side rear view mirror with my right hand beside the seat hanging down. I raised my hand to place it on the steering wheel and my fingers caught on the shifter. The gear shift slid without resistance into reverse and the transmission shifted to reverse and started trying to go backwards. The transmission is completely wrecked and needs to be replaced. No injuries or damage to other vehicles but was a very close call as a friend was in his truck behind us and almost collided.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 4
Failure Date: 02/19/2010

I have a 2004 Toyota Sienna, with only 70,000 miles. I suddenly and intermittently lost power steering. It was not total loss--that I could have handled, but it would come and go, even within a single turn. When I turned the wheel, I could not predict how the car would respond. No accident, fortunately, but a couple of close calls. I drove immediately to a t dealer, and they diagnosed a failed u joint and replaced it today. There had been no prior signs of u joint failure. I wanted to submit this in case others are experiencing similar issues. Otherwise, I just consider it an isolated case. Thanks.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 5
Failure Date: 01/08/2010

2004 Toyota Sienna xle . When accelerating the van hesitates. Have to press the accelerator harder to force a hard downshift. This is very dangerous when a predictable acceleration is needed specially merging highway.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 6
Failure Date: 11/13/2009

The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Sienna . The contact stated while driving 10 mph or more the transmission would hesitate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The current mileage was 140,000. Updated 11/05/10.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 7
Failure Date: 10/10/2008

I always took my 2004 Toyota Sienna in for maintenance. The maintenance was performed by midas or Toyota. I took the vehicle in for brakes August 2008 and was told a timing belt was needed along with driving belt. I was never verbally told of a problem with the transmission. I took the vehicle back in for service to replace the timing belt, driving belt, and thermostat; still no mention of a problem with the transmission. A couple of days later the check engine light came on. When I took the vehicle back to the dealer they told me the transmission was bad and show me the dirt from the transmission. Never prior to the last visit did they verbally mention anything about a transmission problem.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 8
Failure Date: 06/11/2007

I've seen other complaints about the transmission being hesitant and the car surging and slowing unexpectedly. I've had these problems, too. The dealership told me I needed a flash to the computer that would give the car a shift enhancement. They said it wasn't part of the powertrain warranty, but then agreed to do it for the $45 I initially paid them to look the car over. It shifts more aggressively now, but it still seems to slow and surge unexpectedly and fails to downshift for acceleration at times. Today was my first dangerous situation in which I made a left hand turn right before a curve in the road. Just as I was beginning my turn a car appeared and I had to step hard on the accelerator. The car did not respond as quickly as it should have, but I did manage to make it across.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 9
Failure Date: 12/26/2006

Vehicle hesitates when accelerator is pressed. Vehicle 'surges' at times when brake is depressed. Similar to other complaints noted in this section, my Sienna has a rough transmission, tires occasionally spin out with normal acceleration from a parking lot, toll booth, etc. Repeated trips to dealership bring no satisfaction: response from dealer is that vehicle is operating within standards.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 10
Failure Date: 09/30/2006

There is 2 to 3 seconds delay and slight acceleration lag even when taking off from a stop. Couple of times I was close to run into accident.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 11
Failure Date: 09/09/2006

Delay 2-3 seconds when press gas pedal. I though I am the only one have this problem. I hope soon Toyota can solve this problem because if I will get into and accident with this van I am going to hire a lawyer to sue the Toyota.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 12
Failure Date: 10/01/2005

Delayed engine power while turning, then sudden surge of power. Dealership response working as designed - drive-by-wire causes the delay.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 13
Failure Date: 08/01/2005

Transmission hesitation and lurch forward. Dealer says this is characteristic of transmission. Also, rear ac not cold - dealer says this is normal performance.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 14
Failure Date: 08/01/2005

Vehicle hesitates and lurches forward on acceleration. Driver gets jerked forward at an abnormal rate. After acceleration upon leaving a stoped state vehicle does not respond and/or hesitates for a second then lurches forward. Dealer has been notified many times and they tell me this is a characteristic with the new fly wheel design in the Toyotas. They agree it is not right but tell me there is nothing I can do about it?? as a consumer this in unacceptable. Am starting to have neck problems as a result of doing a lot of local in town driving and constantly stopping and starting with being jerked around in my van. Even the passengers feel it. I think this is a major safety issues since it can create physical damage to the driver and cause an accident if van does not respond to accelerator when expected too. Tires may spin out too when the jerky acceleration occurs.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 15
Failure Date: 05/15/2005

The transmission has a delay when running at low speeds and when having to change gears up or down under a change of load condition; like going uphill or passing. Very noticeable when you take your foot off of the gas for a moment, like turning into a street or driveway. The van will jump into a gear like if someone had popped the clutch on a manual transmission. I have had this problem since I have owned the van. I have taken it the dealer several times and they always say there nothing wrong. I have had the transmission fluid changed several times but nothing changes. I thought I was the only one having this problem until just now; after reading about how many other have the same issue. I wish Toyota would just tell the truth about the vehicles that they make instead of just acting like it is always the customers who is at fault. This will be my last Toyota. I have owned three in the past, no more. Especially since all of the other things that has happen with their cars lately.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 16
Failure Date: 04/01/2005

Problems with the dunlop run flat tires and the transmission on the 2004 Toyota Sienna. During a 3000 mile service the technician notice that on or more of the tires was balding. All four tire were replaced. A few day after the 3000 mil maintenance the vehicle would not move because there was no transmission fluid.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 17
Failure Date: 04/01/2005

2004 Toyota Sienna experiencing hesitation when trying to accelerate. The problem would occur when starting to move the vehicle, when the consumers removed his foot and placed it back on the throttle, severe hesitation would occur.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 18
Failure Date: 03/04/2005

I have a 2004 Toyota Sienna with a transmission hesitation problem. (a problem toytoa denies but there are thousands of complaints about it to dealers) it is dangerous in snowy conditions as the 2 second hesitation results in a slowing down before an abrupt upshift/power surge that breaks the wheels loose in the snow. This then causes the traction control system to engage. I was stuck repeatedly and in many dangerous conditions in the mountains in an attempt to get to a ski area due to this problem. Toyota needs to have some pressure put on them.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 19
Failure Date: 12/01/2004

There is a slight, but annoying and unsafe, hesitation with the transmission when accelerating from a turn or from stopping. I have brought it back to the dealer for numerous TSB upgrades, including replacing of a new transmission. However, nothing has changed !!!!!!.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 20
Failure Date: 09/06/2004

When slowing to make a turn the transmission will on occasion hesatate and then surge.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 21
Failure Date: 08/24/2004

I could not shift out of park upon starting the engine and the vsc and abs light came on, I had to set and release the emergency brake and the brake pedal randomly then re-attempt to shift out of park which would then enable me to shift into drive or reverse.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 22
Failure Date: 08/02/2004

2004 Toyota Sienna xle van. When accelerating from a coast the van hesitates. Have to press the accelerator harder to force a hard downshift. This is very dangerous when a predictable acceleration is needed. It seems like the transmission control gets confused on when to downshift. Probably a result of what Toyota has to do to keep the mileage rating up. The number of times this happens are to numerous to count.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 23
Failure Date: 07/18/2004

Vehicle transmission appears to have a significant delay, dead spot or trouble deciding what gear it wants to be in. Primarily when accelerating if hesitation or a lifting of the pedal takes place and then gas is applied again the car lurches after hesitation and downshifts jerking the car. This can't possibly be healthy for the vehicle transmission long term as well as other car parts. I have had to change my driving habits to account for the poor design of the transmission. I've registered my complaint w/the dealer and they've checked to see if the latest software was on my vehicle and it was. They also indicated that there have been other complaints of this type. The major concern is long term and if my transmission goes bad 3-5-7-10 years from now, how much of this is actually Toyota's fault from poor design but then I have to incur the cost. At a large price tag initially this is not fair to the consumer.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 24
Failure Date: 07/16/2004

After 5 months of purchasing a 2004 Toyota Sienna the transmission went out and was replaced. The vehicle continues to lag and lurch.

car   Automatic Transmission problem 25
Failure Date: 07/06/2004

While approaching a left hand turn off a 4 lane undivided highway I saw a vehicle approaching in the middle most lane with its left turn signal on which I interpreted as a sign that the vehicle was going to make a left turn where I was also turning. But it turned out the turn signal must have just been forgotten about and the vehicle was intending to continue travelling straight. By this time I had already started my turn and was in the path of the oncoming vehicle. When I realized that the vehicle was not going to turn I floored the accelerator to get out of its way. The Sienna seemed to slow down violently as all passengers in my Sienna lurched forward, and then the transmission finally seemed to kick in after what seemed like a couple of seconds of sitting helplessly in the path of the oncoming vehicle, which had to slam on its brakes to avoid colliding with us. This acceleration hesitation could have been much more dangerous if the other driver had not been driving defensively.

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